Grunt Style Doesn’t Care About Former Boss’s Feelings

Business isn’t war, but it isn’t a picnic either.

The founder of Grunt Style, a military-themed apparel seller, has found himself on the outside looking in. Retired Army drill sergeant Daniel Alarik lost control of the company last year to its lenders and got canned from his advisory role this summer. He is suing Grunt for ending his medical coverage while his wife battles cancer, prompting some customers to say they would boycott the brand. Grunt Style responded by releasing a screenshot of an email offering to continue his insurance, suggesting that a GoFundMe campaign by Mr. Alarik was dishonest.

If those actions seem brusque, they are at least in keeping with the ethos Mr. Alarik created. The company’s website informs those interested in using its blood & guts designs that “you can try to copy us, but then we’ll waterboard you with freedom.” Media reports have emerged with embarrassing details of a chaotic, alcohol-soaked, politically incorrect work culture under Mr. Alarik.

The company, which didn’t respond to queries, has to tread a fine line between not looking callous to a veteran while selling apparel that blends guns, patriotism and mocking those with hurt feelings. That last part is easier on a T-shirt than in real life.

Write to Spencer Jakab at [email protected]

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